Saturday, April 23, 2016

THE READATHON IS HERE! :D


It's that time of the year again, the time where we get together and READ! YAY! It's readathon day! I LOVE Dewey's 24 hour readathon and even more so now that I get to spend it with my book club ladies of awesome :)

I'll be heading over to Daph's house in about 30 minutes and I still need to pack (EEP), as in pick out what books to take with me and gather the snacks and just... NOT ENOUGH TIME!

So here's a quick answer to the introduction questions :)

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I'll be reading from Daph's home in Zaandam, which'll be awesome :)

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I haven't picked out my books yet! *panicks* *panicks some more* But I am looking forward to just reading some of the books on my shelves, though I'll also be bringing my ereader.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
ALL THE SNACKS! :) I'm bringing banana profiteroles, which are SO good! I'm sure the other girls will also be bringing snacks, so I probably won't have to eat for a couple of days after I get home tomorrow.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Hello everyone! :) I'm Daisy, 28 years old, resident of Holland, proud kitty momma and during the day I'm a GP in training, currently in my final year of residency. I've been blogging for about 6 (might be 7) years I think and try to always make time for the readathon, cause it's awesome. Other things I love include the boyfriend, cooking/baking, READING obviously, pirates and lots of TV shows (including but not limited to ANTM, Nashville, Awkward, Downton Abbey, Suits, White Collar).

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I'm going over to Daph's and I'm finally meeting her cute cat, so that'll be different. Other than that, I'm just going to relax, read and enjoy my book club ladies' company.

Happy read-a-thon-ing everyone!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Review of Once Was a Time by Leila Sales


Title/Author: Once Was a Time by Leila Sales
Publisher/Date published: Chronicle Books, April 5th 2016
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

Goodreads summary: In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte's scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place? Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty's fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

I LOVE Leila Sales' writing, so there was a LOT of pressure on this book to be awesome. And while I did like it, it didn't blow me away.

I'm always intrigued by timetravel and was curious to see how it would work out in this MG novel. And it was a very interesting concept, the thing is that it never really gets explained how the timetravel works and why Charlotte is able to travel while her dad's been spending his whole life loooking for the answer and never really getting it. And I guess I just sorta needed that explanation, because at one point it seems like we're getting it, but then NOPE, sorry!

I was really feeling for Charlotte, she went through a very traumatic experience and then ends up in the future all by herself, trying to make sense of the world that is all of a sudden filled with internet and all of the electric appliances that we now have basically everywhere. All by herself without her best friend and her family, she totally rallies though! She finds her safe place: the library (AWESOME) and things start to happen from there.

Charlotte seems like a nice girl, but she sorta loses herself in the drama that's a mean girl phase at school. And the figuring out of the whole timetravel thing gets put on the backburner until she finds a clue and then we're back in business! I felt that the ending was a bit bittersweet, but I did like it. The thing is that I was never fully emerged in the story and while I did like the way Leila Sales wrapped it up, I still have so many questions!

It was cute though, just not the amazing that I've come to expect from Leila Sales.

My rating: 3 stars

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review of The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows


Title/Author: The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows
Publisher/Date published: Katherine Tegen Books, April 5th 2016
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

Goodreads summary: Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith — destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

***WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR BOOK ONE***

After the cliffhanger ending of The Orphan Queen, I'm SO happy that I already had the egalley for this one so I didn't have to wait in agony to find out what would happen next!

The Mirror King picks up right where we left everyone in The Orphan Queen and I just loved it! We dove right back into the epicness that is this world and Jodi Meadows' writing and also all of these characters and especially WIL and TOBIAH and JAMES. And also Melanie, but we don't see as much of her for the first part cause she went off with Patrick. Who is hateful and will not be mentioned much hereafter because of said hatefulness.

I loved Wil even more in this one, I felt for her in all of her doubts and insecurities and in the starcrossed love she's feeling for Tobiah. I mean, wow, these two have basically everything going against them. One of which happens in this book and was one of the most shocking things EVER. OMG, I still can't believe that happened! She was so strong through it all and really grew as a person and I love that even though everyone knows she's the heir to the throne of Aecor, she's not going to stop kicking ass.

The wraith is still creepy and I'm still not sure that I get it entirely, but in The Mirror King, they're looking for a way to stop it. Or at least keep it at bay. I loved seeing more of the wraith boy and the thing I also very much liked about the magic system is that Wil can animate things, but while they're animated, they keep costing her energy, so it's not just her powering them up and then the things just going off on their own, but it's actually a strain on her and therefore her magic is not limitless.

There are some hints about things that are explained in The Mirror King, but I was SO surprised at at least one of the big reveals! I really don't want to give anything away, but I had definitely not picked up on it, and it was both sad and awesome and plays a big part in the final scenes. Which also gave me some sads, because of reasons. I've gotten so attached to this world and these characters and there are only two books and I wished I could have just spent some more time with everyone and see how their lives turn out after the events in The Mirror King! It's what makes me realise how much I love a book, when I keep wondering what will happen after I've turned the last page.

I'm in awe of Jodi Meadows' storytelling and I really hope she'll be gifting us with more stories!

My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mini-Reviews (16): Ice Like Fire, Wedding Date For Hire, An Inheritance of Ashes

So sometimes I fail at writing reviews for the books I've read, and 2016 has me failing spectacularly (as did 2015). And because it's been AGES since I read these, I'm just gonna do mini-reviews of them, so as to clear my need-review shelf (cause it's humungous, it's not even funny).

Title/Author: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, October 13th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

I really liked the first book in this series, and sadly Ice Like Fire didn't work quite as well for me, mainly because it suffered from second book syndrome. The whole book basically feels like there are BIG THINGS ABOUT TO HAPPEN, but then they fail to really start happening until about the end of the book.
Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy it, I liked getting to know more about this world and the magic and what the heck is up with this chasm and everything. I just would have liked it to be a little more filled with action as well, along with the worldbuilding. Meira is being held back because she is Queen now and it's not Queen-like to go around throwing a chakram. And while I get this, it's also REALLY annoying.
The love triangle continues and ermagerd, I liked Theron in the first book, but now he was just being annoying and I have mixed feelings about Mather and can we maybe get another option? Because I'm not having shippy feelings for either of them.

The ending definitely leaves me curious to find out how this will be wrapped up in the last book, which is hopefully filled with awesome.

My rating: 3,5 stars


Title/Author: Wedding Date For Hire by Jennifer Shirk
Publisher/Date published: Entangled Publishing, October 12th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

Mostly what I remember about this book is not really being into it, but finishing it because it was only 200 pages. I'm always down for a good fake dating story, but this one just fell a little short of what I wanted. There's not a lot of actual depth to the story or the characters and it goes from fake dating to LOVE in ten seconds, which is just not really my thing.
I mean, it was ok and there were some nice moments between the two main characters, but Maddie just seemed too naive and not really seeing what was in front of her and while Trent is a good guy, I just didn't get the shippy feels.

My rating: 2 stars


Title/Author: An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet
Publisher/Date published: Clarion Books, October 6th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

I almost DNF-ed this in the beginning so many times. Then things started to pick up a bit, but I don't know, I just expected more based on the summary. There's never that edge of your seat feeling going on. Mostly, I felt like part of the book was missing, because it felt like we were being dumped down in the middle of a story and things don't make sense and aren't being explained later on, like I'd expected and I'm still confused about a lot of things. I'm still not really sure what was going on with the Twisted Things and the God and what the heck was up with everything??
The plot just sort of simmers on, but while there's a sort of battle at one point, it doesn't really get exciting. But Leah Bobet builds this incredible atmosphere that I can't describe any better than 'grey'. All of it just felt grey and bleak to me and that's the feeling I also get just thinking about the novel. And she did manage to suck me in, because at one point I was like, yeah, ok, I do actually want to know how this ends.

I'm still not really sure what to think of this book, other than that I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review of The Wedding Date by Kelly


Title/Author: The Wedding Date by Kelly Eadon
Publisher/Date published: Forever Yours, April 5th 2016
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

Goodreads summary: A little fake relationship never hurt anyone...

Kate Massie has big dreams - they just haven't worked out. Yet. In the meantime, she spends her days clerking for a judge and her nights fantasizing about her tall, dark, and sexy gym crush. So when she runs into him one night, she's shocked to realize he was her shy, nerdy junior-prom date. But that isn't where the surprises end...

James Abell needs a date to his sister's wedding. So when Kate agrees, he's relieved... until one little lie turns their wedding date into a full-blown fake relationship. Only it doesn't feel fake - not the toe-curling kisses and definitely not the electricity. Neither of them is looking for something real... but they just might fall for their own little white lie.

So in between all of my fantasy reads lately I was definitely ready to get some contemporary romance action going! And I basically read The Wedding Date in no time at all, it was a nice little break from all the epic tales I'd been reading.

I liked that Kate and James sort of had a history. I mean, they're not just random stranger bumping into each other and starting a fake relationship, they've actually already met because Kate was James' last minute prom date way back when. There's some reminiscing about this going on, but not a lot of actual details about how their night went back then and why they didn't keep in touch except for him not daring to ask her number. And they did have one actual person in common, though she doesn't feature much except to facilitate their first meeting.

Basically James and Kate were pretty cute together, there are some obstacles in their way, James' decision to not get involved with anyone because he just broke up with his ex and is not ready to dive back into a relationship, Kate's issues with trusting someone not to break her heart. BUT they do work together and there were sparks between them, which I obviously supported.

The thing is, this was pretty short. So while I liked the overall idea of this, it was just a little short of being amazing because there was just not enough of everything. I mean, there's an I love you at some point that had me like HUH? Already?? I could have done with a little more moments where they were finding their footing and moments of doubt and the main fight was resolved pretty easily... I mean, I would just have liked it to be a little more. Because it had all the ingredients I like in a romance novel, but not fleshed out enough to have me shipping everything and having feelings all over it.

That said, it was a very nice, fun read and a good way to spend Easter Monday afternoon!

My rating: 3 stars

Friday, April 1, 2016

Review of The Skylighter by Becky Wallace


Title/Author: The Skylighter (The Keepers' Chronicles) by Becky Wallace
Publisher/Date published: Margaret K. McElderry Books, March 22nd 2016
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks! And also bought myself a shiny finished copy.

Goodreads summary: As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans... Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.

And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?

With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late... even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.

***WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES***

So I ADORED The Storyspinner and while I didn't love The Skylighter with the same passion, I did very much enjoy it and thought it was a solid ending to this series.

In The Skylighter, we continue the journey that Rafi and Johanna started to get to the wall and restore the power, they team up with Jacaré and there are several things going on all over Santarem, so my attention as a reader was a bit divided. There's a lot of switching back and forth between different points of view and while I liked not only seeing things from one side, it was at times a little too much for me, because some of the chapters were pretty short and I just wanted to get sucked into this person's side of the story and then it would switch already. But we did get to see what everyone was up to, and even with that, Becky Wallace still managed to surprise me with some of the twists.

While The Storyspinner was filled with my ship being shippy, in The Skyligher Rafi and Johanna are at a weird place and while I was still so much rooting for them to be together, it was slightly less swoony. They keep pulling together, pushing away and it's just a rollercoaster. I do very much love them together though, they're both awesome and manage to draw the best out of each other. And I also liked that they're doing everything they can to make sure they can actually be together, BUT there's a limit to what they will do to accomplish this, there are things that are more important.

I loved getting a little bit more of Johanna's parents' backstory and would have liked to see even more of this and to get a little bit more background for the Keeper's powers, cause I feel like there's a whole lot more left to explore in this world, so I'm kinda sad that it's only two books. But I've come across a Q&A that says that there might be more books set in Santarem, SO YAY FOR THAT, PLEASE WRITE MORE!

One thing that kinda bugged me: [Show]

But overall, I thought this was such a really incredible series that I very much enjoyed and would love to read back to back at some point, just to get fully in the feels without having to try to remember the details from the previous book because they're still fresh. Rafi and Johanna have a special place in my heart and I'd love to see what happens AFTER the events in The Skylighter, so please Becky Wallace, write me some more books?

My rating: 4,5 stars

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mini-Reviews (15): Maid-Sama! Vol 3 & 4, Underneath Everything, The Immortal Heights

So sometimes I fail at writing reviews for the books I've read, and 2016 has me failing spectacularly (as did 2015). And because it's been AGES since I read these, I'm just gonna do mini-reviews of them, so as to clear my need-review shelf (cause it's humungous, it's not even funny).

Title/Author: Maid-Sama! Vol 3 & 4 by Hiro Fujiwara
Publisher/Date published: VIZ Media LLC, November 3rd 2015
How I got this book: bought a pretty finished copy

So I've been slowly seeing what the world of manga has to offer and Maid-Sama! is just so much fun! I really enjoyed the 3rd and 4th volume, seeing more of Misaki and USUI and exploring their world and getting into all the funny moments with the whole class. And the tension between Misaki and Usui! YES! I totally ship it and if you're looking for a fun gateway into manga, you should definitely pick this up!

My rating: 4 stars


Title/Author: Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, October 27th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

Man, I did not love this book. While reading it and now thinking back on it, I'm seriously wondering why I even finished this. And it's probably due to the fact that I was just waiting for things to get amazing and for the big reveal to make my head spin and that just failed to happen. Basically nothing really happened in this novel and I have this vague sense of what it was about and that's also what I felt while reading it, so it's not just the time that's passed that made it so in my head.
I could for the life of me not feel much sympathy for Mattie, I mean, at first I was feeling sorry for her for what happened with her friend and her love interest, but well, then she makes some seriously weird decisions and I'm like, yeah, nope.
I've seen people raving about this, and maybe it's just me and I'm just missing the point of it all, but I could not get into this.

My rating: 1 star


Title/Author: The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy #3) by Sherry Thomas
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, October 13th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

I have all the love for this series and the last book in the trilogy definitely did not fail me! I do think that one day I need to go back and reread the whole thing in one go, because there are some subtle things that get a bit lost when there's a year between reading each book.
But The Immortal Height was amazing and mostly everything I wanted and I was constantly on the edge of my seat because there was all this impending DOOM and OMG I just needed to know how it would end and if everyone would still be alright at the end and if my ship would make it through! I get all feelsy again just thinking about it right now.
Sherry Thomas has some amazing storytelling skills and you should just go read this for yourself. Like right now.

My rating: 5 stars